Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad

Ever have those weeks where everything feels like a struggle? It’s one of those weeks for me.

Work – a mess.

My car – not back to me and rental car returned after 8 days.

Kids – 4am puker and one with too many activities. Ortho appointments. Coordinating their lives is a part-time job in and of itself. Missed PJ day at school.

Life – traveling back to Chicago for the 3rd time in 7 days. A likely rained out Cubs game.

I was texting with my friend last night and my fingers were just flying across the screen, unloading my stress. And this was after several rides on the Peloton. I’m working on not taking my stress out on the people I love most, but admit it: I’m a CRANKY, UNKIND stressed out person. I don’t do stress well, even good stress.

When I get to this point, ever little thing will irk me.

This meeting needs to be over already, I’m so behind.

Of course so-and-so is running late.

What lovely comment will my family make about dinner tonight?

The night I made this dish, it was actually awhile ago. I was willing warmer weather this way and I happened to have quite a few avocados on hand before the shortage occurred and prices went through the roof.

My kids said, “I don’t like this.” Without even trying it. Typical.

Mark’s comment was, “We’ve had something like this before.” And you know, that’s generally the case. With 2,543 posts on my blog (WordPress keeps count!), it’s likely that nothing is truly novel. And yet, there are flavors and concepts that always just get me and this caprese and balsamic combo is most definitely one of them! Enjoy!

Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad

Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This pasta salad is tangy-sweet and savory all-in-one with fun textures and bold flavors, delicious warmed, room temperature, or cold. It's a great one to double as a side or entrée, depending on the occasion!

Ingredients

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Salad:

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken tenders
  • 1 lb uncooked pasta
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella balls or diced fresh mozzarella
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 2 avocados, diced

Instructions

    1. Combine all ingredients in a mason jar with a secure lid and shake to combine. Alternatively, combine in a small bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.
    2. Place chicken in a bowl and pour 1/3 of the dressing over the top; turn to coat and set aside for 10 minutes (or cover and refrigerate overnight).
    3. Set your grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat (~375-400 degrees F). Grill the chicken until lightly charred and cooked through, turning halfway through cooking, about 8-10 minutes.
    4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
    5. Add the pasta, chicken, mozzarella, tomatoes, and avocado to a large bowl. Pour over the remaining dressing and toss well to combine.

Notes

Recipe from Half Baked Harvest

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/8 recipe (about 2 cups)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 616Total Fat: 31.6gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 467mgCarbohydrates: 58.6gFiber: 4.0gSugar: 9.8gProtein: 26.9g

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Love things caprese-y? Check out come similar recipes!

Be well,

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